MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 10-year-old girl with a rare genetic disorder just wanted people to come to her birthday.
Mackenzie Moretter has Sotos Syndrome–it left her with some brain damage and makes it difficult for her to make friends. When no one responded to invitations to her birthday party, her mom reached out on Facebook and Mackenzie got much more than a party.
Music, cake and games aren’t unique for a birthday party, but this is not an ordinary party for an ordinary girl.
Mackenzie thought no one would come to her 10th birthday party.
“I have a hard time making friends at school,” she said.
But when people heard her story, they responded in a very big way. Everyone showed up to celebrate — from neighbors, to strangers, to big names. Even Elsa from Frozen made an appearance.
Jeannette Vandenberg of Cottage Grove is a parent of a child with a similar disorder.
“They go through so much, and I was just excited to come out and see her,” she said.
Even former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Charles Johnson came out to celebrate with Mackenzie.
“I know how it feels to be at a low point, and I just wanted to come here and show her that people do have hearts,” Johnson said.
Mackenzie’s mother, Jenny, was overwhelmed with the support for her daughter.
“It’s truly inspiring to know somebody who cares for somebody they don’t know,” she said.
The City of Shakopee even declared April 18 as “Mackenzie Moretter Day.” She opened presents and guests enjoyed the 30 dozen cupcakes that were ordered for the event.
It’s a birthday Mackenzie will never forget.
“It means a lot to me for all of you coming to spend time with me,” Mackenzie said.
And her mother will remember the experience for years to come, too.
“Even though school is hard for her, there are so many people out there that do believe she’s an incredible girl,” Jenny said.
All together, about 400 people turned out for the party, and all of the food was donated from local businesses as well.
Mackenzie received hundreds of presents from strangers. The family told her she can pick out a few of them, but they plan to donate the rest to other children.